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Smartmoney (which died as a print publication recently but lives on as a website) has a story today about finding checking account deals in an age where free accounts are disappearing rapidly:


So much for "free" checking. Faced with new regulations and a slow economy, many large banks are jacking up fees on these accounts -- or are introducing new ones -- to boost revenue. But analysts say some little banks and online firms are still offering up decent deals.

Today, only 39% of checking accounts that pay no interest are free, down from 45% last year and a peak of 76% in 2009, according to research released Monday by data provider Many firms are adding monthly service fees for members who don't meet minimum balance requirements or who don't make enough regular direct deposits.

They highlight Ally Bank, ING, Alliant Credit Union, and PNC's virtual wallet.
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